My Totally Awesome Frugal Catch Of The Week

Well my frugal loving friends, I just had to share this with you. Recently I noticed the Smart Saver store in my town had a closing down sale on, so today while I was in town I decided to pop in to see if they still had some yarn left. To my delight they had plenty and everything was 50% off! I stocked up on 13 balls of yarn (normally $2.50 per ball) for $16.25! Unfortunately they had already sold out of art supplies so I missed out there.

Before I left the shop I overheard the cashier tell a customer that they were open for another three months yet as they had a lot of stock to clear. My first thought was “Yay! More time to stock up on discount yarn!” But then I realised that it would be likely as time went on and got closer to their closing date, that they would increase the discount… I just hope there is still yarn in store when this happens.

My advice is never pass up an opportunity to take a look at a closing down sale, it’s the best time to pick up bargains, whether you are increasing your yarn stash, stocking up your toiletry cupboard, or replacing worn out linen, very dollar saved counts.

13 balls of yarn for $16.25- bargain!
13 balls of yarn for $16.25- bargain!
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Cost Cutting Tips For The Monthly Visitor (one for the ladies)

Hi Ladies. As you already know, there is a lot of cost involved in our personal hygiene. There are the razors, the waxings, the skin care regime, the hair appointments, the make-up, nail care… the list goes on! And then there is the dreaded monthly crimson visitor and its associated costs. Whether you use pads or tampons, there is a wide range of brands to choose from, and we are led to believe that the pricier, fancy, all the bells and whistles brands are the best and must have option. Well ladies, if your monthly visitor is hurting your hip pocket, then it’s time to challenge that view.

A while ago I was desperate and skint and so purchased a cheaper (‘no name’) brand of pad to that that I usually use. I tried them with trepidation but ended up being pleasantly surprised! They adhered to my underwear much better than my usual, dearer, brand which meant they were more comfortable as they didn’t become unstuck, bunched up, or riding up into the nether regions of my behind. And, of course, better sticking power means less fear of leakage. How could this product be cheaper AND better quality?! As I have said before ladies, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean nasty.

I recommended this cheaper brand to a lady I know who struggles with budgeting on a low income and she agreed, this cheaper brand performed much better than the more costly brand she would normally purchase. We both agreed we would use this cheaper brand from now on. So why not give it a try if you find purchasing pads and tampons uses up more of your budget than you’d prefer.

Late last year I discovered reusable cloth pads. A lot of people wrinkle their noses at the thought of cloth pads (but what do you think our ancestors used?), but for me who has often wondered and worried about the environmental impact of disposable pads and nappies, was delighted to learn of their existence. I had used cloth nappies on my daughter when she was a baby and had wondered off and on about repurposing old nappies to create some sort of menstrual pad.

I found out a lady I know makes cloth pads so I decided to try them out. I got her to make me a pad and some panty liners (as I wear liners daily for LBL). Although there is a bit of an outlay initially for a full set of cloth pads, they will definitely save you money in the long run. On top of the savings and the benefit to the environment, there are a bunch of other awesome reasons for using cloth pads. I had been told that they will reduce period cramps, I was sceptical but again pleasantly surprised, and who wouldn’t want to reduce period cramps?? I was also told it would make the flow lighter, and here, I was very sceptical, but after trialling for over 6 months, it seems the claim appears legit. What I really liked about the cloth pads was the reduction in odour. I had always struggled to feel clean at that time of the month and that is partly due to that sickly metallic rotting meat smell I would experience every time I would take down my pants to go to the toilet. How can one expect to feel clean when emitting such a horrid smell? But the smell must have something to do with the materials in the disposable pad and how they interact with the menstrual blood (I’m really not sure), all I know is that horrid smell is not there when I use the cloth pads- YAY! Another bonus I noted was that I didn’t get nappy rash. When using disposable pads, especially is warmer weather, I would experience an uncomfortable rash on my behind. AND they stay wonderfully in place in your underwear 🙂

clothpads

Now, I hear you asking “What about tampon users?” Well you have not been forgotten. One option is the Diva Cup, though I can’t tell you much about these, as having never been a tampon user, I have never tried them. The lady who makes my pads though, is a tampon user and after doing some online research, she asked me to crochet her a tampon. I got online to do some research of my own and found that the design of these crochet tampons is quite simple, you just can’t use acrylic yarn because it won’t absorb the blood, a cotton and/or bamboo blend is the better option. See the picture below for the tampon I crocheted. (I used a yarn that is half and half cotton/bamboo).

crochettampon

These tampons use only a little yarn to make and so are a very cheap option (if you can crochet your own) for the monthly visitor.

So don’t settle for the more expensive brands of pads and tampons, unless you are happy with their performance of course. Explore other options, you may be pleasantly surprised too.

Creative Blogger Award Nomination- YAY!

Thanks to How To Stuff Your Pig for the nomination for the Creative Blogger Award. Make sure, dear readers, that you go and check out How To Stuff Your Pig for well written articles on budgeting and finance… definitely some great tips and advice there. These are the copy/pasted rules for the Creative Blogger Award- 1. Post a link to the person who nominated you and give thanks. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself. 3. Nominate 10 other blogs and give links. 4. Contact your nominees to inform them of their nomination. 5. Provide the rules to your nominees. Here are five facts about me:

  • I’m the face behind @wetweetblogs on Twitter, helping bloggers get their blog posts out to a wider audience.
  • I learnt to knit many many years before I learnt to crochet but everyone knows me for my crocheting.
  • I cannot read a pattern… no joke.
  • I can’t tell my right from my left most times.
  • I’m ambidextrous.

Now for the nominations! The Creative Blogger Award:

Doesn’t Everybody Clean Their House At 2am?

My husband must have thought I’d gone off my rocker when he awoke to find me cleaning the kitchen at 2.45am this morning. Truth be told it was most likely a temporary side effect of the adjusted dosage of my fibromyalgia medication. However if has proven to be a blessing (at least for the moment, I do have a day of work at my day job to get through first) as I seemed to have gotten more housework done in these wee hours of Monday morning than I have in the last few weeks (due to a fibro flare).

But as always I can find a method in my seeming madness. Electricity is often charged at a lower rate during the night (this can depend on the plan you have with your power company), so running your energy sucking appliances such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer at night can save you money. While it’s not for everyone to be flitting about the house at 2am, it’s still worth running certain appliances at night, just pop on the dishwasher or dryer before bed and it can be doing its thing whilst you are winding down for the evening.

Another bonus of cleaning the house in the middle of the night is that there is no child/ren to tornado through the house in your wake undoing all the good work you’ve just done. As I look around my tidy house right now, everything is currently remaining in its place… at least until the threenager gets up in a few hours.

My brain is naturally more productive from anytime after 8pm until somewhere around 3-4am… yup sucks to be me, as it doesn’t suit society in general for people to be most productive at night, especially when you have a day job and children. My brain literally throws ideas at me until I get up and do something about it. Tonight it was cleaning the house, then some writing. But I’m not complaining (ask me at 3pm when I’ve hit that brick wall), it is serenely quiet sitting here at my computer, typing away, and listening to the little frog that resides outside the dining room window croak away.

I even managed to get some polymer clay baked tonight in the oven while I was folding washing, so I will have to show you soon what I have been up to with the clay.

Ah! 4am approaches. Good Morning All! Welcome to Monday 🙂

Dead Frogging The Ice Cream 

I always try to work smarter rather than harder, so it makes perfect sense to me to defrost ice cream a little before trying to scoop it out of the tub. People have always though of me as a bit of an odd ball but recently I copped a few comments on and off line for a Facebook status I posted of a brief conversation between myself and my three year old daughter. The status went something like this:Me: “Hang on, I just need to get the ice cream out to defrost.”

Daughter: “Mum, why did you say dead frogs?”

Me: “Defrost, not dead frogs, lol.”

I posted this status as I thought the conversation was amusing and cute, but it had people questioning my sanity for defrosting ice cream. So, the next time my daughter wanted ice cream I decided not to “dead frog” it before hand, this resulted in me almost snapping the spoon in the frozen ice cream and breaking my (already weak) wrist in the process. You see, this is where there is a method in my madness. Leaving it out to defrost for even just a few minutes helps to soften the ice cream without melting it completely, so that it is easier to scoop out of the tub. See? It’s just a simple life hack, people! And you get that tip for free 😉

What life hack do you employ that others find odd? I’d love to hear them 🙂

Frugal Outings That ROCK!

Sometimes you just gotta get out of the house, but that can be an issue if you don’t have money to spend. Well I’m here to tell you that you and the kids can have an enjoyable outing without spending a fortune (let’s face it, it’s easy to blow a big chunk of the budget at the cinema or tenpin bowling).

Recently I took my three and half year old daughter on an outing that had many benefits. It included the opportunity for fresh air, exercise, use of gross and fine motor skills, and use of imagination and art skills.

Living in a semi-rural area means we have lots of lovely opportunities to spend time in nature. So I decided to take my daughter to a nearby river to collect smooth river rocks for painting (thanks Pinterest for the inspiration!). She loved the idea of rocking hunting for “treasure”.

collectingrocks

For as many rocks as she put into her bucket, she also throw a few into the water and watched the ripples… she seemed to really enjoy that.

rockripples

After collecting our desired amount of “treasure”, we took the time to enjoy the outdoors and commune with nature (we are nature lovers after all).

naturewalk

When we got the rocks home it was time to wash and dry them. My daughter loved being part of the process of preparing the rocks, and I’m sure your little ones would enjoy it too… it is their “treasure” after all.

rockwashingwashingrocksdryingrocks

Once the rocks are dry they are ready to paint. The great thing is that they can be painted with acrylic paint which is really cheap to buy- around $2.00-2.50 per tube or bottle at your local discount store. I found that the rocks, being somewhat porous, absorbed a fair bit of paint. Next time we do this activity I’m going to try Mod Podging them first to create a barrier… I will let you know if it works.

As you can see, the white painted rock on the left has absorbed the paint.
As you can see, the white painted rock on the left has absorbed the paint.

This is where the little ones can go crazy with their imagination and create works of art that rock!

rockpaintbrushpurplerockspainted

I also purchased the paint brushes from the same shop as the paint, and they were $2.00 a pack, which gave 5 brushes of various sizes. If you don’t have a paint palette, a disposable plastic or paper plate will suffice, or even a piece of aluminium foil.

Once our rocks are finished I will Mod Podge to seal and once dry we will create a little rock garden in our yard. I will post pictures when all is complete.

My daughter really loved this outing and activity and it only cost us the petrol (and since this river was only a few kilometres up the road, the petrol was next to nothing). The paint I already had, but as I stated the paint and brushes are quite cheap.

Happy treasure hunting!

Cheap to Fabulous! My First Upcycled Furniture Piece- PART I

Over the weekend I took my 3 year old daughter on a “treasure hunt” to a local op shop. We both scored some awesome treasure. My daughter came away with a noisy Wiggles drum (yeah I’m thrilled about that), and a ceramic Barbie mug. I found exactly what I had been looking for- the perfect piece for a beginner upstyler, and it was a table too, which I had wanted for my first piece… and to totally make my day it was marked at $5.00 but due to a sale on the day I got it for $3.50 SCORE! Here is a picture below before I started any work on it.

My $3.50 table before I started work!
My $3.50 table before I started work!

As you can see it is the perfect blank canvas! I was so delighted and then so over the moon when I managed to fit it in the boot of my Hyundai Getz (everything is coming up Marti!) A quick trip to one of my favourite discount stores yielded glass pebbles for what will become a mosaic table top. These glass pebbles were $2.00 a bag, when I’m finished the project I will be able to tell you just how many bags I used to give you an idea of the total cost of the project.

Once I got it home, I dusted it down and applied some white acrylic paint to the table top (it’s a small table so didn’t take much paint at all- acrylic paint can usually be purchased for around $2.00 a bottle or tube). Once the white dried then I painted over with a kind of clear/aqua acrylic glitter paint.

One layer of white acrylic paint and one layer of glitter acrylic paint.
One layer of white acrylic paint and one layer of glitter acrylic paint.

It’s a bit streaky but it didn’t need to be exactly perfect, I just needed some sort of base to begin with. Once the paint was dry I began my first mosaic work 😀 This was done using the glass pebbles glued down with my ever faithful E6000.

Using E6000 to adhere the glass pebbles to the table top.
Using E6000 to adhere the glass pebbles to the table top.

I kind of skipped a step but it’s not all that important as it depends on the pebbles you purchase. Mine were a mixture of similar hues so I spent some time separating them into same colour groups so that I could work with a design rather than just randomly sticking them down.

Currently this is where I am at. I will add further blog posts as the table progresses. I will need to grout, which I have decided upon over resin. I’m still tossing up what to do on the table leg, I’m toying with the idea of a vintage/Victorian inspired decoupage but I fear the themes will be too contrasting so I may end up just painting the leg… I will see where my inspiration takes me. I’m glad I decided upon the glitter paint too, it doesn’t show up in the picture but when the light heads the pebbles it picks up the glitter underneath.

My progress to date.
My progress to date.

Even though it’s still quite a way off being finished I’m already delighted by the transformation. I can’t wait to share more of it with you, so stay tuned!

Happy crafting!